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31 Mar, 2024 11:05

Russia destroys three Ukrainian warplanes – MoD

The armed forces say they targeted the trio of Su-25s in Nikolaev Region
Russia destroys three Ukrainian warplanes – MoD

The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Sunday that it has destroyed three Ukrainian Su-25 close air support warplanes. The military jets were stationed at the Voznesensk airfield in Nikolaev Region, a strategically important area in the south of the country.

The operation was conducted using tactical aircraft, missile forces and troops’ artillery, the ministry said without providing details. It also reported the destruction of a guidance radar array, a combat control vehicle, three S-300 anti-aircraft missile system launchers and two ammunition warehouses. In addition, it damaged a storage facility for unmanned aerial vehicles. The Ukrainian Armed Forces and its military equipment were targeted in 126 areas, according to the briefing.

In total, Russia has shot down 580 Ukrainian warplanes, 270 helicopters, and 17,951 drones since the start of the conflict in February 2022, the Defense Ministry claimed.

In October, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Moscow’s forces had received new military systems, which at the time allowed them to shoot down 24 Ukrainian planes in just five days. He did not provide further details.

TASS news agency later reported, citing sources, that Russia had used an S-400 Triumph air defense system, which has a 400km range.

Ukraine’s dwindling jet fleet is believed to consist mainly of Soviet-era Su-27 and MiG-29 fighters, Su-24 frontline bombers, as well as a handful of Su-25 close air support planes.

Several NATO member states have promised to donate their F-16 fighter jets to Kiev and have trained Ukrainian pilots to fly them, but no deliveries have been made yet. Russia has warned the West that fielding the nuclear-capable jets will represent an unacceptable escalation of the Ukraine conflict.